Science and religion are once again pitted against each other -- this time in a Kansas Board of Education race in which one candidate, Jack Wu, has called evolution "Satanic lies."

Wu, who also attends, but is not an official member of, the controversial Westboro Baptist Church, is running for the Board of Education in the 4th District against Democratic incumbent Carolyn Campbell. The church is known for anti-gay protests around the world.

Wu's candidacy has caused a stir in an otherwise uneventful election. He wishes to entirely remove evolution from public school curricula, whereas Campbell believes evolution should be taught in school as well established scientific theory, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.

The debate over evolution in the 4th District comes as the state is drafting new science standards as part of a nationwide effort for standardized guidelines. When Kansas' first draft became public last month, however, Republican board member Ken Willard told the Associated Press that the standards are "very problematic" for describing evolution as a well-established, core scientific concept.

"They are preferring one religious position over another," Willard said.

The state's former standards included provisions from advocates of "intelligent design," stating that certain aspects of the Universe are best explained by intelligent cause. The new draft of the multi-state standards, however, calls evolutionary theory "key to understanding both the unity and diversity of life on earth," noting that it has a "long history and solid foundation based on the research evidence established by many scientists working across multiple fields."

According to AP, Wu also advocates a literal interpretation of the Bible and believes the world is 6,000 years old. The US Geological Survey puts the number at closer to 4.5 billion.

Yet the buzz surrounding this election is also attributable to the controversial church Wu attends.

Westboro Baptist frequently pickets funeral services for fallen soldiers by holding signs that read "Thanks God For IEDs" and "Pray For More Dead Kids." A series of television interviews with its founding family members have catapulted the church to national infamy.

Wu said he decided to enter the race after discovering that the incumbent was running unopposed.

"She's going to win my district without a fight?" he told the Topeka Capital-Journal. "I'm not going to let that happen."

Westboro Baptist church spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper told AP that Wu is an "acquaintance," and described him as "just a friendly little guy."

Wu's website describes his childhood in the following way:

Jack was taught that God created the world and the universe. At first, Jack stuck with his old pseudo-science evolution-based cosmology. However, the light of the holy scriptures burned all those trashy concepts away. Jack now knows that God is the Creator of all things.

His website biography states that his mission is to "make a difference in this evil city of Topeka and this perverse state of Kansas."

Campbell, the Democratic incumbent, says she wants evolution to be taught to children because it is necessary for a complete education.

"The first thing on my heart is always to put our children first in all my decisions," Campbell told the Topeka Capital-Journal. "What's best for all our children to give them a quality education and a well-rounded education."

Wu also makes an appearance in Louis Theroux's follow-up film to his 2007 original expose of the Westboro Baptist Church; "The most hated family in America," below, beginning around 8:46. Hat tip to The Pitch.

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  • Those Aren't Your Supporters Buddy

    Who's laughing now? (Via <a href="" target="_hplink">God Hates Protesters</a>)

  • Burn!

    Perhaps some denim could set her free. (Via <a href="" target="_hplink">The F-Bomb</a>)

  • Not What They Were Going For

    This was risky, too, judging by that megaphone. (Via <a href="" target="_hplink">Daily Funny Stuff</a>)

  • Hey Now...

    Counter Protest, 1. Protest, 0. (Via <a href="" target="_hplink">God Hates Protesters</a>)

  • Juxtaposition

    Which one is less threatening? (Via <a href="" target="_hplink">Not In Our Town</a>)

  • He Has A Sign

    ...And A Point. (Via <a href="" target="_hplink">Queeried</a>)

  • Don't Mind Him

    If you give him attention, he just stays longer! (Via <a href="" target="_hplink">I'm PDR</a>)

  • New Meaning

    We bet this guy kills at Scrabble. (Via <a href="" target="_hplink">PAP Blog</a>)

  • Fitting Right In

    Oh, don't get the kids involved! (Via <a href="" target="_hplink">PAP Blog</a>)

  • Street Sign FTW!

    If he only knew he was being owned by a piece of sheet metal. (Via <a href="" target="_hplink">PAP Blog</a>)

  • Captain Obvious

    Yeah! You Tell 'em! (Via <a href="" target="_hplink"></a>)

  • Dedicated Counter-Protesting

    "Repent you guys! Come on, guys. Please repent? Guys?" (<a href="" target="_hplink">Via Out Front Colorado</a>)

  • Classic

    He probably omitted the arrow because there were so many other signs to stand by. (Via <a href="" target="_hplink">Current</a>)

  • Hmm...

    Well, it makes about as much sense. (Via <a href="" target="_hplink">God Hates Protesters</a>)

  • True Lies

    <a href=""></a><a href="">scrimshawjimm</a>:<br />

  • Secretly One of Us

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">pahlhannah</a>:<br />A lone Prop 8 supporter with a sign above him made by Hannah Pahl and Isaiah Smith.

  • Repenting

    <a href=""></a><a href="">Sarah Crossley</a>:<br />photo op at a humble midwestern pride event ;)

  • Girls At St. Pete Pride

    <a href=""></a><a href="">Danny Garcia</a>:<br />

  • "And The Greatest Of These Is Love."

    <a href=""></a><a href="">Michael Bedwell</a>:<br />On the left, Chip Arndt, president of Miami's Freedom Democrats, and out gay co-winner [with his former partner Reichen Lehmkuhl] of "The Amazing Race." Taken at 2005 Equality Forum.

  • They Both Can't Be Right...

    <a href=""></a><a href="">FreeHethe</a>

  • Jesus Made Me Gay

    <a href=""></a><a href="">Leslie Springs</a>:<br />Asheville, NC LOVES Gregg!!

  • Pittsburgh Pink and Black

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">Adrian Mellori</a>:<br />Anti-gay protesters get a taste of anarcho-queers in Pittsburgh

  • Vagina Hell

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">geobomb</a>:<br />If all the gay's are going to hell then that's where I want to be.

  • Phelps protest in San Diego March 2010

    <a href=""><img style="float:left;padding-right:6px !important;" src="" /></a><a href="">AHizz</a>:<br />I love how the anchor lady completely stands out of the way of my sign so the camera can see it...while she's interviewing stupid.